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Attorney General Neronha Joins Department of Justice in Antitrust Lawsuit Against Live Nation/Ticketmaster

Attorney General Peter F. Neronha today joined the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and a bipartisan coalition of 29 other states in filing an antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., alleging that the company has illegally monopolized the live entertainment industry and engaged in anticompetitive conduct to the detriment of artists and their fans.

The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, accuses Live Nation, which owns Ticketmaster, of monopolizing and restraining trade in the concert venue, promotion, and ticketing industry in violation of the Sherman Act. The alleged practices have imposed significant costs on Rhode Island concert-goers and musicians, including higher, non-transparent fees and reduced opportunities for artists.

Live Nation/Ticketmaster has a substantial presence in Rhode Island. Its subsidiary, R.I. Waterfront Enterprises LLC, is constructing the East Providence Bold Point Park amphitheater. Additionally, Live Nation handles ticketing for the Amica Mutual Pavilion in Providence, the Bally’s Event Center in Lincoln, Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium, and the Xfinity Center in Mansfield.

“Creative arts are part of the core of Rhode Island’s identity and one of the backbones of our economy,” said Attorney General Neronha. “It is one of my Office’s priorities to ensure our local economy is fair for our consumers, workers, and small businesses, and no place is that more important than in our marketplace for culture and live music.”

The lawsuit claims that Live Nation has maintained its anticompetitive monopoly by locking up venues through restrictive long-term agreements and threats, leveraging its network of amphitheaters to force artists to select Live Nation as a promoter. This conduct has allegedly harmed fans through higher fees, lack of transparency, fewer consumer choices, and stifled innovation.

The lawsuit seeks to restore competition in the live entertainment industry by prohibiting Live Nation from engaging in anticompetitive practices, ordering divestment from Ticketmaster, and securing financial compensation for the state of Rhode Island and overcharged fans.

This lawsuit follows a 2022 investigation, which built a substantial record of incriminating statements and classic anti-competitive conduct. It also follows the DOJ’s conditional approval of the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger in 2010 and a $3 million fine to Live Nation in 2019, which included a consent decree granting states more investigative authority over Live Nation.

Joining Attorney General Neronha in the suit are attorneys general from Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

This is not the first time Attorney General Neronha has acted against unfair consumer practices in ticketing. In 2019, he took action under the State’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) to combat speculative ticket sales that gouged Rhode Island consumers for tickets to the musical Hamilton.

The matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Stephen Provazza and Special Assistant Attorneys General Alex Carnevale and Paul Meosky of the Office’s Consumer and Economic Justice Unit.




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